Author Topic: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family  (Read 276761 times)

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Eric_Lowe

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #330 on: December 22, 2014, 06:52:55 AM »
Need to go to Vienna.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #331 on: December 24, 2014, 01:51:36 AM »
You may. ;) That's an important part of the proclamations. However, she did not pledge to sell her watches/clocks, she pledged that she would give these watches/clocks to especially brave men. Which, according to other proclamations, she did. I do not know anything about who was decorated though; and personally I do doubt whether these really would have been the most exquisite, jewel-studded items. For the Tyrolean defenders, common people, even a "plain" gold watch would have been a treasure, especially when coming from "Her Imperial Highness". Too bad there is nothing known about these details.

Thank you for the correction. It's been years since that I read that information on the watches/clocks so my recall is not perfect. I do find that gesture of Maria Elisabeth touching. I seem to remember reading Maria Amalia sent a pearl-encrusted banner to a contingent of the Austrian soldiers -from Prague, I think - so the sisters seemed to show support to their soldiers.

Oh, she not only had a clock collection but also a collection of musical instruments? Very interesting! I have never heard about it. Do you happen to remember where you read this?
It was a collection of musical pieces. The source is  the Life of Haydn and/or the  Cambridge Companion to Haydn. It seems that she had an extensive collection and was very talented in music (lovely voice, could play difficult pieces at the keyboard and most likely, able to compose music as well -- only those who showed talent progressed to making their own compositions among the imperial children).

Yes this would be interesting to know; as far as I remember Marie Therese also described her as very pious, which I have not really read anywhere else. Although Marie Therese described her as appalling there still seem to have been a few letters between the two of them.
I read that the young archduchesses made frequent but short visits to the Ursuline convent in Vienna. There was a recorded visit of a young Maria Amalia at age 8 with her ladies-in-waiting. Maria Elisabeth likely did the same. This was frequently done in the 1760s. The visits likely added to their religiousity/piousness. Oh, and there was music/singing in the visits as well.

Maria Elisabeth seemed to show genuine concern to her niece Marie Threrese so the reaction is a bit puzzling...
« Last Edit: December 24, 2014, 02:12:39 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #332 on: December 24, 2014, 02:14:16 AM »
Lovely, lovely drawings of the archduchesses. Thank you very much, CountessKate!
« Last Edit: December 24, 2014, 02:17:28 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #333 on: December 24, 2014, 03:10:37 AM »
Would like to correct a post above....

The teenaged Maria Elisabeth made the most frequent visits to the Ursuline convent in Vienna (among the imperial children). So convent life and having a pious/religious bent was not so odd for her at all.....
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Bravecoeur

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #334 on: December 24, 2014, 09:01:09 AM »
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Can they be seen in the permanent exhibition of Albertina?

No clue, I'm afraid, I haven't been to Vienna in years.
I see. May I then ask how/where you discovered these? I have never seen them before I think.

It's been years since that I read that information on the watches/clocks so my recall is not perfect. I do find that gesture of Maria Elisabeth touching. I seem to remember reading Maria Amalia sent a pearl-encrusted banner to a contingent of the Austrian soldiers -from Prague, I think - so the sisters seemed to show support to their soldiers.
I'm not quite sure yet how I feel about these gestures. ;) There's so little known. Was it planned by the government with the sisters merely agreeing / signing the proclamations and thereby acting as straw women? Or was it the sisters idea and initiative? And irrespectively of that, if the province got lost, who'd be the real loser: the dynasty that loses land, revenue, reputation and power, or the militia peasant for whom live usually would continue pretty much the same as it was, albeit under a new ruler? Viewed from this perspective such proclamations seem more results of self interest rather than anything else...

Oh, she not only had a clock collection but also a collection of musical instruments? Very interesting! I have never heard about it. Do you happen to remember where you read this?
It was a collection of musical pieces. The source is  the Life of Haydn and/or the  Cambridge Companion to Haydn. It seems that she had an extensive collection and was very talented in music (lovely voice, could play difficult pieces at the keyboard and most likely, able to compose music as well -- only those who showed talent progressed to making their own compositions among the imperial children).[/quote]
Thank you for this info, I will check it! I have never read the composing about Maria Elisabeth, are you sure it was her and not one of the sisters?

The teenaged Maria Elisabeth made the most frequent visits to the Ursuline convent in Vienna (among the imperial children). So convent life and having a pious/religious bent was not so odd for her at all.....
Again a new aspect for me! (Again, do you happen to remember who writes this?) That somehow seems a bit conflicting with the portrayal of her by some biographers who claim she was just vain and didn't care about anything as a youth / young woman. (Of which I'm critical anyways.) And if she had this genuine piety it seems all the more surprising that she wasn't considered fit for the role as abbess earlier...

PS: Merry Christmas and/or a relaxing festive season to all of you!

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #335 on: December 24, 2014, 10:07:14 AM »
I'm not quite sure yet how I feel about these gestures. ;) There's so little known. Was it planned by the government with the sisters merely agreeing / signing the proclamations and thereby acting as straw women? Or was it the sisters idea and initiative? And irrespectively of that, if the province got lost, who'd be the real loser: the dynasty that loses land, revenue, reputation and power, or the militia peasant for whom live usually would continue pretty much the same as it was, albeit under a new ruler? Viewed from this perspective such proclamations seem more results of self interest rather than anything else...

Not sure about Maria Elisabeth but Maria Amalia was always fond of the soldiers (at least in Parma) so sending a banner with pearls to the soldiers  seems genuine.

Thank you for this info, I will check it! I have never read the composing about Maria Elisabeth, are you sure it was her and not one of the sisters?

The music pieces/collection is mentioned in Haydn's biography(ies)/references. I will try to check the exact source(s) on the music compositions of the imperial children.  I clearly remember reading that their music lessons were tailored according to their skills/talents and not all were given composition lessons. It was also noted that Maria Elisabeth's keyboard practice books were plenty and contained demanding pieces. Mancini also praised her lovely singing voice. Well, I read that Mimi was not talented in music.... Marianne was not mentioned much as well in this aspect. That leaves her and Amalia, who were both praised to the highest heavens by their teachers (Amalia for her singing). And the younger archduchesses - for having good voices - to some extent but it is very likely Maria Elisabeth.

Again a new aspect for me! (Again, do you happen to remember who writes this?) That somehow seems a bit conflicting with the portrayal of her by some biographers who claim she was just vain and didn't care about anything as a youth / young woman. (Of which I'm critical anyways.) And if she had this genuine piety it seems all the more surprising that she wasn't considered fit for the role as abbess earlier...

PS: Merry Christmas and/or a relaxing festive season to all of you!

The information on the frequent visits of Maria Elisabeth and her siblings - most were said to be spontaneous - to the Ursuline convent in Vienna in the 1760s is found in the book Convent Music and Politics in Eighteenth Century Vienna.

I think most authors just 'parrot' Maria Theresa's criticisms of her children. Hence, Maria Elisabeth was nothing but an extremely vain princess who was not interested in anything but her beauty. But she did have strong interests/talents... For instance, I find  a painting by her more striking than Mimi's own works (referring to "The Lady with a Hat" artwork of hers).

Happy Christmas too all!
« Last Edit: December 24, 2014, 10:32:54 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #336 on: December 25, 2014, 05:56:05 AM »
Found it....Maria Elisabeth's collection of music pieces/scores and musical talent is also discussed here....(please refer to the abstract by Martin Eybl)

http://www.gfm-dhi-rom2010.de/1/program/free-papers/sektion-iv/
« Last Edit: December 25, 2014, 06:01:40 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #337 on: December 25, 2014, 06:15:01 AM »
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I see. May I then ask how/where you discovered these? I have never seen them before I think.

They're from the Albertina collections online.  This is the link: http://sammlungenonline.albertina.at/Default.aspx?lng=english2
Just type in Martin van Meytens.

Bravecoeur

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #338 on: January 05, 2015, 09:30:41 AM »
They're from the Albertina collections online.  This is the link: http://sammlungenonline.albertina.at/Default.aspx?lng=english2
Just type in Martin van Meytens.

The information on the frequent visits of Maria Elisabeth and her siblings - most were said to be spontaneous - to the Ursuline convent in Vienna in the 1760s is found in the book Convent Music and Politics in Eighteenth Century Vienna.

Found it....Maria Elisabeth's collection of music pieces/scores and musical talent is also discussed here....(please refer to the abstract by Martin Eybl)

http://www.gfm-dhi-rom2010.de/1/program/free-papers/sektion-iv/

Thank you soooo much, this was a surprising and wonderful Christmas present indeed! I'm thoroughly impressed by your level of information, you read the newest books, follow conferences, the museums' online databases... totally on top of things! Hopefully the presentation will be published, his topic sounds like a hitherto empty sheet.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #339 on: January 10, 2015, 02:28:21 AM »
Thank you for your kind words. It's really just a very strong interest so I try to read as many sources as I can find.  I find Maria Elisabeth more and more interesting, definitely not just a vain beauty whose life was ruined by smallpox.  Interestingly, a publication on the Habsburgs stated that unmarried princesses (like her and older sister Maria Anna) probably led a better life than their married sisters. After all, they had freedom, the rank and money - Maria Anna was able to leave a  considerable inheritance to her convent, for instance - plus they could pursue their own interests without a lot of burdens, not to mention being paired with a "repulsive" prince and expected to produce a lot of babies.

On another topic, I recently read that  Maria Anna asked to be buried in Franz Stephan's dressing gown - her father's daughter indeed - and that she be buried as a nun, not as a princess. I guess that is why she was not buried in Vienna.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 02:34:29 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Eric_Lowe

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #340 on: January 11, 2015, 11:31:38 PM »
Unmarried princess were not treated kindly or with respect. Just like those unmarried daughters of Louis XV.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #341 on: January 12, 2015, 06:35:44 AM »
Unmarried princess were not treated kindly or with respect. Just like those unmarried daughters of Louis XV.

Not necessarily. Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth were loved/respected by the people in Klagenfurt and Innsbruck.  Their two married sisters Maria Carolina and Marie Antoinette - who even produced the necessary heir(s) - were not. Maria Amalia was. It also depends on what they have done in their respective roles.

As for Louis XV's unmarried daughters, I don't know much about them except that they did not seem to be pleasant and did not bother to endear themselves to the people. That certainly contributed to perhaps not being treated kindly, as you put it. Again, it also depended on what they did or did not do.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2015, 06:43:29 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Eric_Lowe

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #342 on: January 24, 2015, 12:05:59 AM »
I mean by their parents. Louis XV refer to his unmarried daughters as hags. He was charmed by his eldest daughter Elisabeth, Madame de Infanta, but her begging became too much even for him yet. But he never ease to esteem her unlike her unmarried sisters.

Maria Theresa was the same. She was troubled by her married daughters, but deep down (even for Amalia) she was proud of them and the usefulness they had for Austria. That was not the same for the unmarried girls. Don't think she bothered with them much. Her son Josef was kinder to them.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #343 on: January 26, 2015, 06:37:29 AM »
I mean by their parents. Louis XV refer to his unmarried daughters as hags. He was charmed by his eldest daughter Elisabeth, Madame de Infanta, but her begging became too much even for him yet. But he never ease to esteem her unlike her unmarried sisters.

Maria Theresa was the same. She was troubled by her married daughters, but deep down (even for Amalia) she was proud of them and the usefulness they had for Austria. That was not the same for the unmarried girls. Don't think she bothered with them much. Her son Josef was kinder to them.

I get what you mean now.  But wasn't Louis XV also charmed by Louise Elisabeth's twin, Anne Henriette?  At least, that's what I read but I don't know much about those twins, except for Louise-Elisabeth as Duchess of Parma.

As for Maria Theresa, I agree that she didn't think much of Maria Anna or Maria Elisabeth.  Don't know why in Maria Anna's case for she was certainly the most intelligent child and seemed more gifted than Mimi in terms of the arts (drawing/painting). Her letters, if they pertain to Marianne, talk only of Marianne's health although I haven't read many on her. IMHO, it had something to do with Marianne being her father's favourite and being "another girl" (when a boy was very much expected and wished for).  As for Liesl, she was favoured until she lost her looks and later on, MT dismissed her as not having good reasoning. Not sure of that claim, although I think she (like Maria Amalia) simply had no interest in studying.  If I recall it correctly, Leopold thought (from his visits to Vienna) that  MT treated his two sisters unkindly. Perhaps being unmarried also contributed to that. Also read that MT's only disappointment with Mimi is not having more children but don't know how true that claim is.    
« Last Edit: January 26, 2015, 06:56:20 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #344 on: January 26, 2015, 08:37:38 AM »
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But wasn't Louis XV also charmed by Louise Elisabeth's twin, Anne Henriette?

Anne-Henriette was probably his favorite daughter, but Louis XV was fond of all his daughters and I can't recall any evidence that he ill-treated them.  He gave them appropriate establishments (albeit not independent ones) and created an apartment for them at Versailles near his own by pulling down Louis XIV's grand 'ambassador's staircase'.  They were not given any political influence, but neither were his (married) male heirs so that gives no support to the case for marital status indicating better treatment.  Mme Infante had specific ambitions for an establishment outside Spain which dovetailed with French aims of continuing an alliance with Spain, limiting Austrian ambitions in Italy, and (in the case of Mme de Pompadour), employing the duc de Richelieu outside Versailles all of which were achieved for the cost of a very small war.  But none of this indicates that Madame Infante was Louis' favorite because she was married as such, or that Louis XV treated his single daughters badly because they were unmarried, which of course was largely his doing, or rather, not-doing.